The Anonymous Widower

£250m Bypass Will Destroy Woodland

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in today’s copy of The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

A four-mile bypass will be built partly in the South Downs National Park under a plan that conservation groups fear will set a precedent for development in other protected areas.

This map shows the route of the proposed bypass.

The route may be the best solution, but I believe we need to be more radical.

Overcrowded and inadequate roads exist all along the South Coast of England and in many other scenic places in the UK.

I think we need to develop a philosophy to solve the problems of roads in these crowded places.

Building a four-mile bypass at Arundel, may be needed, but we should do many other things to ease traffic congestion and improve transport capacity.

So what do I believe we should do?

We could introduce negative measures like road pricing or other restrictions, but I believe there are positive things we could do.

Broadband

You might think, what has broadband got to do with reducing the need to build roads.

I believe that as more houses and businesses get very high speed broadband, this will reduce the number of journeys taken.

Mobile Phone Coverage

I am not sure, what effect excellent mobile phone coverage will have on traffic, but it certainly will have one.

Cycling

We will all be cycling more and one of the consequences of excellent mobile phone coverage will be the growth of park-it-anywhere bike schemes like ofo and Mobike.

I think a few years time, many short distance journeys will be done by bicycle.

But expect some Luddite councils to legislate against ofo, Mobike and their ilk!

Rail

Fast forward five years and a train journey in an area like along the South Coast or in East Anglia or the West Country, will be very different.

  • Digital signalling will increase the capacity of all lines and mean that most stations will have at least four trains per hour (tph) in both directions.
  • Digital signalling will also allow more routes.
  • Advances in train design will mean that journeys are faster.
  • Ticketing will use contactless bank cards or mobile phone payment systems.
  • Trains will be a much more comfortable and work-friendly experience, with wi-fi, 4G and power sockets.
  • Track layouts will be improved and level crossings will be removed., to allow trains to operate more efficiently.
  • Improved information on trains and stations.
  • The improved dwell times of modern trains, will allow new stations to be added without degrading services.

The biggest development along the South Coast, will be an improved service between Ashford and Portsmouth/Southampton/Bournemouth.

  • Existing tracks will be used, with the addition of short stretches of new track at possibly Brighton and Eastbourne.
  • Line speeds will be at least 100 mph.
  • Most stations will have a Turn-Up-And-Go four tph service.

There will also be other improved routes to and from London and Gatwick Airport for many of the coastal towns.

This improvement in rail services will be impossible with a rail company like Govia Thameslink Railway providing services.

  • They are more conservative, than the RMT.
  • They look after their core commuter traffic, at the expense of other passengers.
  • The franchise is just too big.

However, digital signalling will allow Open Access Operators to compete and create new services geared to customers needs.

Thameslink

The current Thameslink service will have the following characteristics, when it is completed in December 2019.

  • Twenty-four tph through London.
  • A well-designed track layout at Bermondsey that unlocks London’s North-South railway.
  • Services at a level of at least two tph to many stations in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
  • A set of uncomfortable Class 700 trains, designed by a moronic civil servant in the Department of Transport.

The major Thameslink upgrade was designed totally without vision and charisma.

However, the basics and possibilities are there to do the following.

  • Increase the frequency to thirty tph through the Central London core.
  • Increase the frequency on the Brighton Main Line through Gatwick, substantially, by using digital signalling.
  • Rebuild the trains, with what passengers need.
  • Add extra services all along the South Coast.
  • Develop a massive rail-air interchange station at Gatwick.

I believe that Gatwick could develop into the busiest station in the UK.

I also think, that anybody going between London and the South Coast, will have a frequency of at least four tph from their local station, using either a direct service or a single change at Gatwick.

Freight

This Google Map shows the A27 through Arundel.

Note the number of trucks on the roads.

Where are they going?

The bypass would get the trucks out of Arundel, but would it just encourage more to use the South Coast route as a bypass for the crowded M25?

We need a proper philosophy for freight in this country.

  • As much freight as possible should be by rail.
  • Trucks should be for short distance or specialist needs only.

Does Southampton Docks have good enough access to the UK rail network?

I think not, especially as it would be very difficult to increase freight traffic through Southampton Central station, due to the restriction of the double-track Southampton Tunnel.

Conclusion

There is a lot to do, before we spend £250million n a bypass.

 

 

 

May 14, 2018 Posted by | Computing, Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do I Have The Worst Broadband In Central London?

I doubt it, but I’ve decided to keep a proper log of all the problems.

March 15th, 2016 – 06:00 – I woke up to no broadband and only now at 07:15 can I write this.

March 16th, 2016 – 07:00 – Broadband dropped out for an hour.

March 18th, 2016 – 16:30– Broadband dropped out for an hour.

March 21st, 2016 – 16:30– Broadband dropped out for an hour.

March 22nd, 2016 – 19:30 – Broadband dropped out for a period.

March 23rd, 2016 – 08:00 – Intermittent service

March 23rd, 2016 – 13:30 – Intermittent service

March 23rd, 2016 – 16:00 – Intermittent service

March 23rd, 2016 – 17:00 – Intermittent service

March 24th, 2016 – 06:00 – Intermittent service

March 24th, 2016 – 11:00 – Broadband dropped out for an hour.

April 1st, 2016 – 17:30 – Broadband dropped out for an hour.

April 7th, 2016 – 19:30 – Intermittent service

What I would like is fibre-optic, but BT have said, that I’m too close to the exchange.

March 15, 2016 Posted by | Computing | , | 4 Comments

BT Broadband’s Crap Football Broadcasts

BT now deliver their sport channels by broadband, which generally makes it unwatchable, unless you’ve got BT Infinity. Which of course is not available to me, as I’m too close to exchange. BT’s words not mine!

I often joke about what Brian Redhead said about the relative merits of radio and television.

If television had been invented first, radio would be the dominant medium, as the pictures are better!

Today, it’s absolutely true, as the pictures my mind are creating from the words on BBC Radio 5, are an order of magnitude better than BT’s crap pictures of the football.

February 3, 2015 Posted by | Computing, Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

BT Sport Channel Numbers On A Steam Broadband Box

Despite almost being in the centre of London and only about a hundred metres from the exchange, I can’t get fibre optic here. I think, it’s because unlike everybody else in the road, I have a direct line to the exchange, so that unless they dig up the road to the exchange, I can wait for ever for fibre optic broadband. I might just as well be on St. Kilda as far as BT are concerned.

So I have to watch football, as I am now, through my steam broadband connection. To be fair the picture is generally acceptable.

But the problem is that I can never find the channels, as BT’s security system gives them obscure numbers, so that their steam broadband system doesn’t get overloaded.

The channel numbers are as follows.

507 – BT Sport 1,

508 -BT Sport 2.

509 – ESPN

How logical is that?

January 24, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

BT Broadband Is Like A Whore’s Drawers

All day yesterday and for much of today, BT’s Broadband service has been terrible, going up and down like the unmentionables in the title of this post.

This a typical report about the problem from the BBC.

I do wonder if the problem lies in some of the historic exchanges. I’m connected to CLIssold and as the problem seems to have occurred in all sorts of random places, perhaps it is down to some equipment that is common but not universal on the network.

It’s a blpoody pain in the BuTT.

June 29, 2014 Posted by | Computing | , | 2 Comments

One Down To BT Sport

A friend, who has Sky, missed his team; Sheffield United. win the FA Cup today, as the match was on BT Sport.

All of these channels must get their act together, so we can all watch our favourite sport.

It would be nice if all matches were available through the Internet on a dedicated UK Football portal. But that would probably be illegal under EU Law.

But then what does the EU know about football and technology?

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

Are BT Winding Me Up?

BT have said, I can’t have fibre-optic broadband, as I’m too close to the exchange.  But this poster has appeared opposite my house, on a BT box.

That is just not on.  So should I complain to OFCOM?

December 3, 2013 Posted by | Computing | , , | 1 Comment

I’ve Given In

I said in this post, that a Sky Satellite dish is so yesterday.

However, as I have received a letter from BT on the subject of broadband, I decided that the best solution would be to get a dish to get reasonable sports on my television.

The letter from BT is a classic, and it is only thanks to my MP that I got a reply.

Here’s one section.

I’ve been in touch with our supplier, Openreach to ask about Mr. Miller’s situation. Unfortunately, he’s currently unable to get fibre broadband as his phone line is routed directly from the exchange to his premises.

Openreach have confirmed that the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology which they have deployed needs a fibre-enabled street cabinet to supply the service. But because Mr. Miller is located very close to the exchange and is fed directly from it, i.e. not via a street cabinet, this unfortunately means that he can’t have the fibre product at present.

So the solution to my fibre broadband problem, is to move further from the telephone exchange.

I am a qualified electrical engineer and do understand the technology, the problem and the solutions. So I can’t help but find their statement mildly amusing.

But I suppose to actually be honest about the problem, as BT has been in the end, after a kicking from my MP, would only chase customers away to other broadband suppliers, who of course because of my local loop problem, can’t actually deliver the product that everybody wants.

In my view, there should be an on-line database that everyone can access, that shows the phone and broadband standard and quality, that is available at every house or business premises in the country. After all, you might find the ideal building for your new offices and it would be prudent to confirm the status of the phones and broadband before you made an offer.

But why stop at phones and broadband, as it would be much better if all the other services were listed as well.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Londoners Still Love The Hackney Eight

I was coming home from the Angel last night, when one of the Hackney Eight showed its distinctive shape coming from the direction of Saddlers Wells.

As it approached the stop, prospective passengers walked past the 56 that many of them, like me, could have taken and waited for a few seconds for the New Bus for London to arrive.

Why don’t Transport for London do the right thing and convert route 38 to the new buses?

But then us plebs in Hackney don’t count for much, as BT have shown by their non-delivery of fibre-optic broadband.

If the 38 went to Archway in Islington, it would have been converted by now!

 

September 26, 2013 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sky Satellite Dish Is So Yesterday

I’ve just looked up what football matches, I can watch over the next few days, through my steam-driven broadband, BT Sport and Freeview.

Tonight, BT are showing Wigan, whilst ITV4 is showing Swansea and Tottenham. All in the Uefa Cup. As I’m seeing Wigan on Sunday, as I’m going to see Ipswich play there, it’s rather a no-brainer, which matches I’ll watch.

Tomorrow, I’m busy in Liverpool, but the only match is on BT and it’s a German one.  I’m not that sad yet!

Saturday, BT are showing a Premier League match, but as it’s Norwich, I assume they are going to pay me to watch it! Later I might want to watch Fulham on Sky, but obviously I can’t!

Sunday has some good matches on Sky, but I’m on the train going to Wigan and back to watch Ipswich. At least Virgin’s trains are higher up the speed and reliability scale compared to their broadband.

So BT Sport’s deal of free football with broadband, is equivalent to a supermarket giving away burgers made of horsemeat. It may look good, but it’s not what you want.

I’m almost getting to the point where I put up a satellite dish for Sky.

But that is yesterday’s old technology and I would only rip it out again, when fibre optic broadband became available.  I’ve no objections to Sky as a company, as they gave me good service, when I lived in Suffolk.

Fibre-optic broadband would give me everything I want.  But when will someone deliver it to me? Or is Hackney too rural for it to be hooked up? On the other hand if Innerleithen, in the Scottish Borders can have fibre optic broadband, why can’t I?

BT are keeping the delivery date secret! Which of course means I can’t plan!

I have written to my MP, Meg Hillier, who is also the member for Silicon Roundabout and Shoreditch. She said this in a letter to me.

I am very aware of issues around broadband in Hackney, particularly in the Tech City area around Shoreditch. The growth of these cutting edge businesses in my constituency  is an exciting addition but I am very concerned that the infrastructure to support their tech needs is not in place. 

She obviously has more clout than any Hackney resident, so if you have a desperate need for fibre-optic broadband, I’d send her an e-mail.  The best way is to use WriteToThem.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Sport, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment